DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 11, 2012
At least 11 Russian warships are heading for Syria from their Black Sea and North Sea bases; NATO’s rapid response Maritime Group 2 is on its way to the E. Mediterranean too, and five Israeli warships are already deployed. The French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle-R91 is making for the French naval base at Port Zayid, Abu Dhabi, opposite the Strait of Hormuz. In Riyadh, high Saudi officials are convinced a US strike against Iran is coming soon - before or after the November election.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2012
Agreement on a Syria-led transition based on mutual consent that includes members of the current government” was reported by UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan from the Action Group on Syria meeting in Geneva Saturday, June 30. He avoided mentioning Bashar Assad, but was not able to conceal the gap between Washington and Moscow over the Syrian ruler’s fate: The US still wants him gone, while Russia is still adamant about propping him up. That is the devil in the Annan peace effort.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2012
Aviation Week reports: “Evidence is mounting that the US defense community and the Obama administration view 2013 as the likely window for a bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear and missile facilities.” The chaos of the Syrian government’s fall could be used “to disguise such an attack,” the journal suggests. “The tools…are all operational.” Friday night, top US and Russian diplomats failed to bridge differences on Syria ahead of a UN-sponsored Action Group parley in Geneva. Military preparations are building up for an attack on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 28, 2012
Saying “An Islamist flood threatens us all, the Russian president put before the Israeli prime minister propositions of a secret conduit through Moscow to Tehran and help for mending Turkish-Israeli relations in return for a Russian stake in Mediterranean oil.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 27, 2012
Another urgent bid for the US to lead an allied offensive against Syria’s ruling regime fell on deaf ears. It came Tuesday, June 26, from Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who is spoiling for action over the Syrian shoot-down of a Turkish military plane last Friday. Obama turned him down and urged US, British, Turkish and French covert operations to continue. Erdogan is forced to resort to the strategy employed by Binyamin Netanyahu on a nuclear Iran - tough rhetoric accompanied by inaction.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 26, 2012
Unconfirmed first reports from British, French and Turkish sources say British special forces crossed from Turkey into northern Syria Tuesday, May 26, advancing up to 10 kilometers inside the country. Those sources also report heavy fighting around the Republican Guards compound guarding Bashar Assad's palace on Mount Qaisoun overlooking Damascus. This two-pronged assault on the Assad regime, if confirmed, began at the end of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Israel. It challenges his repeated objections to foreign intervention.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 24, 2012
Al Qaeda infiltrators from Libya are spearheading much of this month’s anti-Israel violence from Sinai and the Gaza Strip - a dangerous development Israel, Hamas, Egypt and the US prefer to conceal. It appears to tie in with the arrival of al Qaeda’s ex-Iraq fighters in Syria as part of its leader's master plan. Deeply concerned to check the spillover from Libya into Egypt, Cairo has posted its elite counter-terrorist “999 unit” in El Arish, on Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip and along the northern sector of its frontier with Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 23, 2012
Syria Friday shot down the Turkish Super Phantom jet with the sophisticated self-propelled medium range anti-air Pantsur-1 missile recently supplied by Russia. Short of time to master the improved missile system, the Syrian crews would have called on their Russian instructors to help launch them. debkafile: Moscow and Damascus may have decided to stop the almost daily Turkish air force flights over the Syrian coast for spying on Russian arms deliveries through the Russian bases of Tartus and Latakia.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 21, 2012
Russian President Vladimir Putin started putting his plans for Russia to displace the US at key Middle East points at the Moscow nuclear talks and the G20 summit in Mexico where he enlisted China and Iran to defeat Washington’s plans. Starting out with a scheme of revenge for Libya, his horizon has since widened to blocking US President Barack Obama's Arab Revolt objectives and his policies for Syria and Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 19, 2012
debkafile postulates Syria’s division into spheres of influence as the big powers move in.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 18, 2012
Military tensions around Syria shot up again Monday, June 18, with an Iranian report that a joint Russian-Chinese-Iranian exercise is to take place in Syria, called “the biggest of its kind ever staged in the Middle East,” with 90,000 personnel, 400 air planes and 900 tanks taking part. debkafile: This would be the first time Russia and China have deployed substantial military strength in the Middle East. It points to their determination to deter a US-lead military operation against the Assad regime.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 17, 2012
Moscow is using the time up until Russian President Vladimir Putin faces US President Barack Obama across the G20 conference table in Los Cabos, Mexico Sunday, June 17 – or its corridors - to ship sophisticated anti-air, anti-ship arms to Syria able to prevent a no-fly zone being imposed. A fleet of Russian warships is also heading for Tartus. If the two presidents come to terms on Syria and Iran, the planned US and allied intervention in Syria may be delayed. If not - quickened.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 16, 2012
Amid the worsening violence in Syria, US official sources said Saturday, June 16, that US intervention was not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and defined its format as “Libya lite.” Pentagon officials earlier reported a Russian contingent was on its way to Syria to guard the Russian base at Tartus. As the Syrian civil conflict mounted onto the plane of major power intervention, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood announced that the UN observer mission he heads had suspended activities and patrols.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 15, 2012
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 11, 2012
The US President Barack Obama has ordered the US Navy and Air Force to accelerate preparations for a limited air offensive against the Assad regime and the imposition of no-fly zones over Syria - depending on Moscow's reaction.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 10, 2012
Tehran early Sunday June 10 accused Syrian rebels of arming themselves with chemical weapons originating in Libya and acquiring training in their use - sending shudders of alarm through the West and Israel. They fear the Assad regime is preparing the ground for chemical assaults to finally crush its foes. Both sides to the conflict are talking about chemical warfare openly. If they go through with it, President Barack Obama will have to reconsider non-intervention and turn to limited force to stop the escalating horror.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 8, 2012
After the UN gridlock on the Syrian crisis Thursday, an American delegation headed by Fred Hoff drew a blank in talks at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow Friday, June 8, with Syrian expert, Mikhail Bogdanov. Russia flatly rejected President Barack Obama’s proposal to post 5,000 armed UN monitors in Syria, most of them Russian troops. Moscow and Tehran calculate that the higher the flames of civil war in Syria, the more the US will be blamed for the bloodshed.They therefore refuse to join any international effort to stop it.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 7, 2012
Iran stalled the US Secretary and UN-Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan’s plan for a contact group based on five permanent Security Council members and Iran to handle the Syrian impasse, refusing to join the group so long as it faces nuclear conditions. Tehran's non-cooperation on Syria reflected its flat-out rejection of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s demand that Iran come to the nuclear talks in Moscow “ready to take concrete steps” to curb its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 1, 2012
Obama focuses on obtaining Vladmir Putin’s consent to deploying 5,000 largely Russian monitors in Syria in order to gain a partner also for his Iran nuclear diplomacy. HIzballah risks being cut off from its heavy weapons arsenal hidden in Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 31, 2012
US President Barack Obama, widely expected to pursue direct action against Syrian ruler Bashar following the Houla atrocity, is preoccupied with what he regards as the greater threat to the world: a potential grab for the huge Syrian stock of chemical and biological weapons by Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations, to prevent which, debkafile reports, he has reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a fresh plan for Syria: 5,000 international monitors, most Russian, to guard those stocks.